Agreement on Passenger Rail Service to Chicago

August  04, 2014

      A train ride from Moline to Chicago is on its way to becoming a reality. Today, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced an agreement with the Iowa Interstate Railroad to begin plans for passenger rail service from the Quad Cities to Chicago.

      Paul Rumler, Executive Vice President for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, says the agreement comes after a push for better service that began seven years ago. He says access to Chicago will strengthen the local economy. 

      "As we actively recruit companies to locate in the Quad Cities or to do business in the Quad Cities, this new mode of transportation will certainly make that a little bit easier to do, and then for all of our area residents to be connected with Chicago means an improved quality of life."

      In September, the Illinois Department of Transportation will start designing a signal system and planning improvements to the track that goes from Wyanet to Moline.  Passenger rails ran through the Quad Cities for about 100 years before service ended in the 1970s.

      "In particular with passenger rail service that would go from the East Coast and to the West Coast, at speeds of almost 100 mph, so when we talk about passenger rail service again, we will have that reliable rail service right now between the Quad Cities and Chicago, and one day will connect us to destinations beyond Chicago or beyond the Quad Cities, possibly into Iowa."

      Rumler says there will two trips a day--a morning train that leaves for Chicago and an evening train that leaves from Chicago. The train ride will take about three hours.

      The Illinois Department of Transportation will have an idea of when service will begin after its finishes its initial planning this year.